At first there was Olly, and things were good. Then came Joe, Heath, The Wyverns, Lysander Brock, Lucien and Benedict… Well, the world continued to grow. With each book, LM Somerton created new and fascinating characters. When she introduced Jed and Jonty, though, her stock skyrocketed. (For those not in the know who these characters are, lemme fill you in quick.
Joe, Heath, Olly: The Edge series
Lysander Brock: Testing Lysander and Picturing Lysander
The Wyverns: A motorcycle club featuring Orlando, a sassy little sub who rules the roost
Lucien and Benedict: Stroke Rate (not what you think, pervs! Oh, wait. It is what you think. Never mind.)
Jed and Jonty: Owned by the Sea
And she has many other books that excite, titillate, and can get you a wee bit hot under the collar.
But, amazing books aside, LM Somerton is my favorite for another reason. She’s even-tempered, encouraging, inspiring, and she’s got a heart as big as England (which is an odd coincidence, since that’s where she hails from).
The two of us share bits of books (mostly me, because she has a job and a family and apparently my needs are secondary to theirs, go figure) when we’re writing, and she never fails to offer constructive criticism or heap lavish praise (though I think that’s just the polite English woman in her).
She’s talented beyond measure. She can always make me smile, and has brought me to tears with her words more than once. LM has created worlds I’d like to live in, characters I would love to have as friends, and men I would love to… (cough) Anyway…
She’s one of the most giving people I know, and that, dear friends, is why LM Somerton is one of my favorites.
To close out 2018, I want to talk about—or maybe introduce you to—one of my favorite authors.
Her name is K.C. Wells, author of the Collars & Cuffs series, the Learning to Love series, the Material World series, the Personal series (which features Will Parkinson as a male escort!)
There are many reasons to love KC. She’s my sister from another mister, and she gives some of the best hugs. She’s always personable, open, and friendly. She writes some of the hottest sex scenes, and the most beautiful love stories.
I first met KC when I was introduced to Leo and Alex, the main characters from the first Collars & Cuffs book, An Unlocked Heart. I was mesmerized by the intricacies of not only the two men in the story, but also the supporting cast, especially Thomas Williams, who would go on to star in book two with his sub to be, Peter.
The book drew me in immediately, and I found the love that grew between the two men to be organic and natural, not forced in the least. And each man had something in his history that molded them into what they were going to become. Leo lost his sub and never recovered. Alex had a crappy home life, especially as he was the target of harassment from his brother, Rob (keep Rob in mind, okay?) K.C. showed the strength of not only Leo, but the budding realization for Alex that he wasn’t weak in the least.
From there I was hooked. I reached out to KC and found her to be a true joy. She was sweet and I found that I very much enjoyed talking with her. When she told me she was going to be working on a book for Thomas, and asked if I wanted to hear some of it, I said yes. (To be honest, I would have begged to hear it as it was being written.) When she told me what she’d done, I offered a few suggestions, and she liked them. Then she asked me if I’d be willing to help beta read the book. Of course, I said yes.
Once Thomas and Peter found their happy ever after, KC asked if I would ever consider writing something with her. I said no. When she asked why, I told her that my writing standards weren’t up to hers, and with her being in England and me in the US, I didn’t think we could make it work out. I got to the hotel one night (I was working third shift at the time), and as I was doing my tour of the buildings, her question came back to me, and I started having a think about a young American man and the English Dom who would come to keep him. When I talked with KC next, I floated the idea to her, and from there came our very first collaboration, Someone to Keep Me.
Working with KC was a learning experience. I tried to absorb everything she taught me, and put it to use in my own writing. Once again, she was kind and patient, and I was grateful to have her as a friend.
Fast forward many years and many books later and we get to my very favorite book by KC. BFF is an unrealistic plot: two straight men realize they’re in love with one another. Except it wasn’t unrealistic at all. In fact, the plot bunny was based on the real life story of Mike and Garrett (https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-14997/im-an-otherwise-straight-man-who-fell-in-love-with-his-best-friend.html) which she fell in love with and wanted to tell the story. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve read it. I even own the paperback, which I rarely do. But this story has everything that I love, especially an amazing happy ever after.
And that’s what K.C. is all about. Making people happy. It might take time, it will definitely take work, but they’re going to get there. They’re going to find love, friendship, family. No, not just that, they’re going to find life.
That’s where she excels, bringing men together, and finding a way to make their imperfect worlds perfect together.
And that is why K.C. Wells is one of my favorites.
We’re starting something new today. Every so often, I’m going to tell you about why an author is one of my favorites. This will take some time, seeing as how I have so many. But today we’re going to talk about the inimitable Mary Calmes, author of Again, Frog, the Warder series, the Marshals series, and so many more.
Why they’re my favorite…
Today’s author: Mary Calmes
I honestly cannot recall my first book by Mary. They all blend together in one amazingly complex world, where even things you don’t think are connected just might be.
I think, but don’t quote me, my first was Sam & Jory. I fell for Sam hard, because he’s exactly the kind of book hero I like. Big, bold, strong. And then I got to the end of the first book and then read the second. I’m going to admit something here. I kind of hated Sam for a while. But, because he got his head out of his butt and saw what was in front of him, became the man that his family needed, I grew to love him again.
Many of Mary’s characters have an intrinsic flaw, something that you’re going to see as a chink in their armor. I don’t look at it that way, though. I see it not as a defect, but as a personality trait. Sam’s was he was bigger than life, and I did something foolish. I had expectations of him. Where Mary Calmes is concerned, that’s never a wise idea, because she doesn’t just write outside the box, she obliterates it.
Whether it be shifters, vampires, federal marshals, warders, or broken down cowboys, her men are alive, breathing, and altogether human.
My favorite book by her is Again. It’s the story of Dante and Noah who, through machinations in the background, are separated for years. When they come together again, and Dante learns the truth, he pursues Noah, certain he’s the best thing for his former husband. He’s not perfect. He’s flawed. But he loves with his whole heart.
At the core, that’s what Mary’s books are about. Giving your heart to that person who will always keep it safe, never betray your trust in them, and will always—always—be there for you when you need them.
And that’s why Mary Calmes is one of my favorites.